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Thursday, 31 May 2012

Festival time at Purley Library!

Purley Festival
What's On in the library

Building on the success of last year, Purley Festival is back again in 2012, offering a range of activities for all ages, from 25 June to 1st July. More details hereAs part of this they have teamed up with Purley Library to run some additional events and to promote some of the regular events on offer in the library.

Purley Library

Monday 25th June

10.00am – 12.00pm: Felt Making Workshop

Learn how to make your own felt which can be used for card or craft making.  This event is FREE to attend. Please contact Purley Library for tickets.

Tuesday 26th June

10-10.30am:  Book start Rhymetime 

All family members welcome - Come along with babes in arms and tiny toddlers and join in with songs and rhymes that tinies love.

11-11.30 am: Wiggle and Jiggle

Enjoy songs, rhymes and movement for bigger tots over 18 months and their families

12.00-1.00pm; 1.00-2.00pm; 6.00-7.00pm: Historical walk round Purley

Don't know much about Purley? Find out about Purley’s past as revealed by our own local blue badge guide Tom Kidd. Please join him at the start times above outside Purley Library. If you would like to sign up please contact the library or please get in touch with Tim at

Thursday 28th June 

10.00-12.00am: Knit and Stitch 

Join our group for a morning of knitting, sewing, sharing skills & catching up with friends over tea, coffee and your latest craft project.  Everyone welcome.

2.30-3.30pm: “One-Child Policy – Gain or Gamble?” Talk by author Barnaby Powell 

 Barnaby Powell has lived and worked closely with China throughout most of his working life.  His two published books discuss the expansion of China overseas and the gaps in the studies of China by the West and the West by China. Come along to hear him talk first-hand about his experiences and understanding of a very different culture.

10.30-11.00 am: Story time

Come and listen to bugs life! Insect stories and a ‘Very Hungry Caterpillar’ craft for children aged 2½+. Purley Library.

10.30-12.00am: Adult Writing Group 

Enjoy writing?  Ever dreamt of being an author?  Then why not join Purley Library's Creative Writing Groups for adults?

2.30pm - 3.30pm: “Fascinating Hats” Talk by Valerie Mackenzie

Have you ever wondered how a hat was made or find fascinators, fascinating? Come and listen to local milliner, Valerie Mackenzie’s talk on hat making and demonstration of how to make a fascinator. This event is FREE to attend. Please contact Purley Library for tickets.  

How to contact Purley Library:

And if you fancy supporting the fundraising efforts for Purley Festival  it is not too later to book for the Barn Dance planned for 9th June.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Did Croydon break the law over library?

Croydon Council stand accused of breaking the law over its joint library agreement with Lambeth, an agreement that Croydon Council terminated.

Croydon's Labour Leader Tony Newman is quoted,
"We have advice that Croydon cannot unilaterally abandon the joint agreement and we have been told by Lambeth Council that this council has acted illegally."
Cllr Timothy Godfrey, Labour's shadow cabinet member responsible holds a letter from the DCMS which he claims indicates that the unique 112 year old Upper Norwood Joint Library agreement between Lambeth and Croydon can only be broken if both councils are in agreement.

Croydon's chief executive, Jon Rouse, refuted the claims but has agreed to the subject being debated on 2nd July, although what type of meeting this will be is still unclear as the details are not yet available on the council website.

Croydon Advertiser article, May 25 2012
This Croydon Advertiser article also touches on the catalogue of errors in Croydon's consultation process. We'll details this in a later post, thanks to the evidence passed to the campaign group by local residents.

Council flouting its legal agreement

Another library article in the local press, still not online so reproduced here.

Croydon Guardian article May 23, 2012

Croydon is accused of flouting its legal agreement to run Upper Norwood Library (UNJL) jointly with Lambeth Council.  

Whilst the UNJL consultation document gave the option to keep funding at existing levels, Croydon library campaigners are acutely aware that in the previous consultation on six Croydon libraries, Croydon chose to ignore the 'do nothing' option. Will it be the same for Upper Norwood?

The options Croydon put to Lambeth before the launch of this consultation certainly do not support continued support from Croydon: but perhaps most damning is the details Inside Croydon exposed of Croydon's dealings with Lambeth early on in the process.  

Purley Festival promoting Croydon libraries!

Purley Festival runs from 25th June to 1st July and their Twitter account has tweeted about "special events" being run in Purley Library as part of the festival.
A regular weekly event promoted under the banner of Purley Festival.
Seems this is, yet again, a case of Croydon residents taking the matter of promoting Croydon libraries into their own hands. Whilst we await details directly from Purley Festival organisers we sought out the details for ourselves, on the Croydon Council website.

Nothing listed under Events in Croydon Libraries

Nothing additional under the events listed in Purley Library tab, other than the regular activities on offer.

Nor is there anything out of the ordinary listed in the Events listings for the week of Purley Festival.
We look forward to receiving full details of the additional events and are keen to promote them as we regularly hear of residents struggling to find details of events in Croydon libraries as advertising is so poor and erratic.

But it will come as no surprise to many of us that Cllr Tim Pollard, newly appointed to the role for overseeing libraries, is quick to follow in the steps of his predecessor, Cllr Sara Bashford, in taking the credit for the work of residents promoting libraries and denying problems with the service on offer.

In the Croydon Guardian, online Cllr Pollard is quoted,
"The events at Purley Library during the festival week cater for all age groups with a range of interests and many encourage whole-family participation. 
Some of the activities are regular events at the library, while others are one-offs, adding extra dimensions from music, fashion and craft as well as literature and discussions about China and Croydon- a measure of the diverse nature of what our libraries offer." 
Dare we remind Cllr Pollard of the events regularly cancelled in Sanderstead Library, the library in his own ward?  The promised list of volunteers, he claimed were so keen to help, that never materialised for the Summer Booktrail, resulting in activities being cancelled, just one example.

Cllr Bashford was caught out by the Bookseller for the lack of any promotion of any events for National Libraries Day, which resulted in hard pushed staff cobbling together displays such as this at only a day's notice.

UK Citizenship test or Highway code anyone?
Let's hope that a community pulling all the stops out, in their own time, to promote Purley and its facilities, including its library; a library who campaigners believe is still lucky enough to have a qualified librarian attending, unlike many other Croydon libraries, is supported by Cllr Pollard and Croydon Council.

We'll post full details of all events in the library that week when we can establish details.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012


Residents are encouraged by campaigners to continue to send in comments to be taken into consideration by Croydon after Cllr Tim Pollard has given his assurance that comments will be taken into consideration in the consultation.

The message reads, 
 "Cllr Tim Pollard confirmed Croydon council will continue to accept comments re the provision of library services in Upper Norwood as part of (the) consultation.If you would like to support your library by asking Croydon to continue to fund our library or perhaps indeed encouraging them to invest more. The library campaign would definitely encourage you to email." 
A Campaign spokeswoman added: "And I would too. "It'll take you two minutes. "Go on, go on."
Read the full post here:

News from Crystal Palace: BASHFORD BROUGHT TO BOOK - UPDATE: BASHFORD BROUGHT TO BOOK - UPDATE   Cllr Sarah Bashford has lost the 'culture' part of her cabinet job in a reshuffle by Croydon coun...

News from Crystal Palace: BASHFORD BROUGHT TO BOOK

News from Crystal Palace: BASHFORD BROUGHT TO BOOK: BASHFORD BROUGHT TO BOOK    Cllr Sarah Bashford has lost the 'culture' part of her cabinet job in a reshuffle by Croydon council leader...

Cllr Tim Pollard is now cabinet member with responsibility for Libraries.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Stop the privatization of Public Libraries: Civica pull out of Croydon/Wandsworth privatisatio...

As minuted in Wandsworth's Scrutiny committee papers of 19th April, Civica have withdrawn from the bidding process for Croydon and Wandsworth Libraries.  The campaign group has been aware of this but have been waiting for an official announcement from Croydon.

Alan Wylie's blog has the details, which you can read here.  Stop the privatization of Public Libraries: Civica pull out of Croydon/Wandsworth privatisatio...

That's Croydon, the council who gave residents every assurance that they would be keep informed all the way through the process.

That's Croydon, who the Croydon Advertiser exposed for spending £40K on a procurement consultant  after an advertisement was spotted for the post. This later post catalogues Croydon's record on transparency in this process.

Not looking good, is it?

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Trouble in Greenwich with GLL

Croydon Libraries are in the process of being outsourced and five companies and organisations have been short-listed.  Inside Croydon has written of those short-listed in this comprehensive article here.

This short-list will be whittled down further in the coming months to just three bidders who will go through to the competitive dialogue phase. The process is being handled by a project manager, bought in at a cost of £40,000 to oversee the process, the whole procurement process expected to cost in the region of £250,000.

Staff in Croydon libraries are under huge pressure to keep the service running after a huge cut in staffing, so drastic that when the service faltered and failed on numerous occasions, the council had no alternative but to employ more staff, both agency and permanent posts.

Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) is just one of these bidders and and an article highlights the troubles in Greenwich where GLL are taking on the running of library services. The full article can be read here. The article explains,
"GLL have made clear that following the transfer, there will be a "harmonisation" process, in reality to bring library staff down to GLL levels. GLL negotiators have confirmed that new library staff will be employed on poorer pay and conditions."
The article claims that the council refused to accept a potential compromise whereby staff would be seconded over to GLL, rather than transferred, which would give staff staying as council employees a better safeguard against attacks on pay and conditions.

Unite assert that this dispute has highlighted the limited protection offered by TUPE. The legislation only gives protection at the point of transfer. 
"All employers need do is find a reason to attack pay and conditions not linked to the transfer - usually by crying poverty." 

There is a march organised for May 5th with a possible strike action planned.